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Huskers Return Home for No. 24 Terps | KTIC Radio

Huskers Return Home for No. 24 Terps

Huskers Return Home for No. 24 Terps
James Palmer Jr. and the Huskers take on No. 24 Maryland on Wednesday. Photo by Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Communications

The Husker men’s basketball team has another opportunity to knock off a ranked team, as Nebraska hosts No. 24 Maryland Wednesday evening.

Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 6:01 p.m. and any returned tickets will be available at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call. The matchup will also be available on the Fox Sports App and BTN2Go with cable authentication.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on both Sirius and XM Radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff on many of the Husker Sports Network affiliates (affiliate list on page 7 of the game notes).

The Huskers (13-9, 3-8 Big Ten) look to snap a five-game losing streak following a 71-64 loss at Illinois on Saturday. The Huskers cut a 15-point second-half deficit to seven, but could not get the shots to drop in the closing minutes to pull closer. Nebraska got 22 from James Palmer Jr. to lead three players in double figures, as Tanner Borchardt and Thomas Allen added 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Huskers out-rebounded the Illini, 50-36, and committed just 10 turnovers, but shot just 36 percent, including 3-of-23 from 3-point range.

One bright spot for the Huskers in the loss was the performance of Borchardt, who posted his first career double-double with career bests of 12 points and 18 rebounds. His 18 caroms, which included 11 offensive boards, were the most by a Husker in three seasons and the second-highest total in the Big Ten this season. Borchardt has grabbed eight or more rebounds in two of the last three contests.

Maryland comes off a 69-61 loss at No. 24 Wisconsin on Friday night. The Terrapins led for most of the contest before the Badgers rallied in the last 10 minutes for the win.

Eric Ayala led Maryland with 18 points, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, while Bruno Fernando and Anthony Cowan added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Maryland shot 56 percent in the first half, but Wisconsin held the Terrapins to 35 percent in the second half.

OPENING NUMBER
8 – James Palmer Jr. needs eight points to become the 30th Husker to reach 1,000 points. Palmer has averaged 18.0 points per game during his Husker career.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

50 – Nebraska’s rebounds vs. Illinois, the most by Nebraska in a conference game since Feb. 9, 2017, against Wisconsin.

34.9 – Nebraska’s shooting percentage during its five game losing streak. NU was shooting 47.3 percent through its first 17 contests.

+3.7 – Nebraska leads the Big Ten in turnover margin, as NU is third in turnovers per game and is second in forcing turnovers.

1.34 – Nebraska’s assist-to-turnover ratio, which is on pace to be one of the best marks in school history and ranks 35th nationally.

No. Year Asst.-to-TO ratio
1. 1984-85 1.81
2. 1985-86 1.64
2018-19 1.34
3. 1983-84 1.34

 

17 – Number of 20-point games for Husker players in 2018-19. James Palmer Jr. has 11 while Isaac Copeland Jr. (three), Isaiah Roby (two) and Glynn Watson Jr. (one) also enjoyed 20-point games this season.

SCOUTING MARYLAND

Maryland comes into Wednesday’s game with a 17-6 record and have dropped three of their last four games after a 16-3 start. Maryland had won seven straight, including wins over Nebraska and Wisconsin, before a loss at No. 6 Michigan State started its current run which included losses against Illinois at Madison Square Garden and at Wisconsin. Wednesday’s game against Nebraska will be the fourth game away from College Park in the last five.

Coach Mark Turgeon’s team is a young, but talented squad that starts four freshmen or sophomores around third-year starter Anthony Cowan Jr.  In all, seven of Maryland’s top eight scorers are freshmen or sophomores. The Terps, who saw their streak of three straight NCAA appearances end last season, went 9-2 during non-conference play with losses to Virginia and Seton Hall.

Maryland’s strength is the inside game with sophomore Bruno Fernando and freshman Jalen Smith, as the duo helps Maryland out-rebound opponents by more than 10 rebounds per game. Fernando averages 14.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, as he ranks second in field goal percentage (.665) and blocked shots (2.0) and is third in rebounding.  Smith, a McDonald’s All-American, has been one of the Big Ten’s top freshmen, averaging 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest. Cowan, a three-year starter, leads Maryland in scoring (16.7 ppg) and assists (4.5 apg) while freshman guard Eric Ayala averages  9.2 ppg, including 48 percent from 3-point range.

SERIES HISTORY

Wednesday’s meeting is the eighth meeting between the two teams, all since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten in 2014-15. Maryland leads the series, 5-2, with six of the seven previous meetings decided by five points or less. The three previous games in Lincoln have been decided by a total of 12 points. Maryland had won the first five meetings before Nebraska won in 2017 (College Park) and 2018 (Lincoln) prior to the Terps’ two-point win last month

LAST TIME OUT

Jalen Smith’s basket with 3.8 seconds remaining lifted Maryland to a 74-72 win over No.24/23 Nebraska at the XFINITY Center on Jan. 2.  Smith, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, broke the deadlock with a jumper in the lane to give Maryland the lead for good. Smith scored Maryland’s final seven points in a see-saw contest which saw 11 ties and nine lead changes.

Nebraska had one final opportunity and inbounded the ball to Thomas Allen, who got it to halfcourt and found Isaiah Roby going to the hoop, but Roby, who was battling contact, was unable to haul in the pass and get the shot off as the buzzer sounded.

James Palmer Jr. led Nebraska with 26 points, seven rebounds and five steals, while Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaiah Roby had 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 19 points, while Bruno Fernando added 18 points and 17 rebounds, as the Terrapins outrebounded Nebraska, 38-28, including 14 offensive boards that led to 14 second-chance points.

LAST TIME OUT

The Nebraska men’s basketball team got another 20-point performance from James Palmer Jr. and career efforts from Tanner Borchardt and Thomas Allen, but it was not enough in a 71-64 loss at Illinois Saturday afternoon.

Borchardt set career highs with 12 points and 18 rebounds, scoring in double figures for the first time in his career and pulling down double-digit rebounds for the second time in his career. While posting his first career double-double, Borchardt’s 18 rebounds tied for the most rebounds by a Husker in more than a decade. Palmer nearly had a double-double of his own, scoring a game-high 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds. While Palmer reached the 20-point plateau for the 11th time this season, Allen had 11 points, his highest total in a Big Ten Conference game and the sophomore scored in double figures in back-to-back conference games for the first time in his career.

Behind Borchardt’s big day, Nebraska grabbed 50 rebounds and was plus-14 on the glass, both of which were its best efforts in a Big Ten game this year and second-highest totals of the season. The Huskers also benefited from an Illinois team that hit just 9-of-23 free throws, but the Illini shot 48.2 percent from the field and hit 8-of-20 3-pointers, while Nebraska shot just 35.7 percent and was 3-of-23 from beyond the arc.

With the loss, Nebraska fell to 13-9 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play. Illinois was led by Kipper Nichols, who tied his season high with 18 points after being held scoreless in the previous five games. The Illini, which won for the third time in six games, improved to 7-15 on the season and moved to 3-8 in conference action.

PALMER NEARS 1,000 POINTS AT NEBRASKA

James Palmer Jr. enters Wednesday’s game needing just eight points to become Nebraska’s 30th 1,000-point scorer. The 6-foot-6 senior guard has averaged 18.0 points per game in his two seasons and has been in double figures in 52 of his 55 career games since arriving on campus two seasons ago

  • Nebraska’s 29 1,000-point scorers hail from 14 states, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Palmer would be the Huskers’ first 1,000-point scorer from Maryland.
  • If Palmer reaches 1,000 points on Wednesday, he will do it in 56 career games, the second-fastest player to reach that milestone. He would be just the third player to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons, joining Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen.
  • He will be the fifth Husker under Head Coach Tim Miles to reach the milestone, joining Terran Petteway, Shavon Shields, Tai Webster and Glynn Watson Jr.

WORTH NOTING

  • Husker coach Tim Miles will be looking for his 50th conference win at Nebraska on Wednesday. Only three Husker coaches (Joe Cipriano, Danny Nee and Moe Iba) won 50 conference games at the school.
  • Six of Nebraska’s nine losses have been to teams who have been ranked in the top-15 at some point in the season (Texas Tech, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin). In six of Nebraska’s nine losses, it has been a two possession or less game within the final 2:30.
  • According to KenPom, Nebraska’s strength of schedule is 12th nationally, as six of the top 20 toughest schedules are by Big Ten teams.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. needs one steal to move into a tie for fifth on NU’s career list (Ryan Anderson, 166). Watson will make his 100th career start on Wednesday. He will become just the seventh Husker to make 100 career starts.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. is one of six players currently on NU’s top-10 list in both assists and steals, joining Brian Carr (1984-87), Cookie Belcher (1997-2001), Tyronn Lue (1996-98), Erick Strickland (1993-96) and Clifford Scales (1998-91).
  • James Palmer Jr. has 11 20-point games this season, bettering his career total in 105 games entering this year. That total ranks among the highest 20-point games in a season under Tim Miles.
  • The Big Ten is well represented in the latest NET released on Feb. 4, as eight teams are ranked in the top 35 (Michigan-5; Michigan State-8; Purdue-11; Wisconsin-12; Iowa-22; Maryland-24, Nebraska-33; Ohio State-35).
  • As of the Feb. 4 NET, Nebraska has played 14 of its 21 Division I games against teams in the top two quadrants. Currently, every Big Ten team is in the top-125 of the NET.
  • The Huskers are averaging 74.6 points per game, which is fourth in the Big Ten and NU’s highest scoring average after 23 games since the 1995-96 season (84.6 ppg). During the previous six seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles, NU’s highest average after 23 games was 73.7 ppg in 2015-16.
  • Balance has been key for the Husker attack this season. When NU has at least three double-figure scorers, the Huskers are 12-6, but just 1-3 when less than three NU players are in double figures.
  • Nebraska’s offense ranks in the top-40 nationally in a trio of categories, including turnovers per game (10.3, 11th), turnover margin (+3.7, 21st) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.33, 35th).
  • NU has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 12 of the last 15 contests dating back to Nov. 24, and Nebraska’s average of 10.3 turnovers per game is on pace to be a school record. Four of the five lowest turnover per game totals have come under Tim Miles.
  • Nebraska is one of seven teams in Division I ranked in the top 25 nationally in field goal defense, 3-point defense and scoring defense through Feb. 4, a list which also includes Virginia, Michigan, Texas Tech, Houston, VCU and Texas State.
  • Nebraska ranks ninth nationally in average attendance at 15,620 per game as of Jan. 30. Of the eight schools ahead of the Huskers, all eight play in facilities of at least 16,300 seats. NU’s attendance is 104 percent of PBA’s 15,000-seat capacity.

TANNER TALLIES REBOUNDS

Senior Tanner Borchardt put together the finest effort of his career against Illinois. The former walk-on from Gothenberg, Neb., posted personal bests in points (12), rebounds (18) and minutes (32) in just the third start of his career. Borchardt’s 18-rebound effort was not only a career high, but matched the highest total by any Husker in more than a decade.

  • Borchardt’s 18 rebounds tied for the fifth-best rebound day in the last 25 years of Husker basketball, and was the most since Aleks Maric snared 19 rebounds against Missouri on Feb. 24, 2007.
  • His 18-rebound effort tied for the second-highest total by a Big Ten player this season. Only Jordan Murphy, who had 21 rebounds against Penn State on Jan. 19, has grabbed more rebounds in a game than Borchardt this season.
  • Borchardt’s 11 offensive rebounds marked only the fourth time in the last nine seasons that a Big Ten player totaled at least 11 offensive rebounds in a game. Borchardt joins Jared Sullinger (2-29-12 vs. Northwestern), Gabriel Olaseni (1-24-15 vs. Purdue) and Dererk Pardon (1-2-18 vs. Nebraska) as the only Big Ten players to accomplish the feat.

Most Rebounds By a Husker in a Game (last 25 seasons)

No Reb. Name Opponent Date
1. 21 Kimani Ffriend Oral Roberts 12/22/99
2. 19 Aleks Maric Missouri 2/24/07
  19 Steffon Bradford Eastern Illinois 11/23/99
  19 Kimani Friend Baylor 1/22/00
5. 18 Tanner Borchardt at Illinois 2/2/19
  18 Ed Morrow Jr. Gardner-Webb 12/18/16
  18 Venson Hamilton vs. Old Dominion 12/30/96

 

HUSKER OFFENSIVE NOTES

Nebraska comes into the Maryland game averaging 74.6 points per game after averaging 72.3 points per game last year.  NU has scored at least 70 points 14 times, including seven games of at least 80 points.

  • Nebraska is 28th nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom through Feb. 3. In the KenPom era, only the 2003-04 team (25th) ranked in the top-50 nationally in offensive efficiency.
  • Nebraska’s 74.6 points per game would be NU’s highest scoring average since the 1995-96 team averaged 80.2 points per game
  • The Huskers are looking to break out of an offensive slump, as NU has averaged just 62.3 points per game on 37 percent shooting over the last six contests.
  • The Huskers scored 106 points in the opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Huskers’ highest total since the 2005-06 campaign.
  • Nebraska opened the season with four straight games scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
  • Nebraska scored 94 points in the win over Creighton, its third-highest total in 52 meetings in the series.

The solid offensive effort is not surprising based on what the Huskers brought back from last year’s team that went 22-11, as Nebraska brought back its top four scorers for the first time in 15 years, including three players who averaged double figures.

  • Nebraska returned three double-figure scorers (James Palmer Jr., 17.2, Isaac Copeland Jr., 12.9 and Glynn Watson Jr., 10.5) for the first time since the 1992-93 season (Eric Piatkowski, 14.3; Derrick Chandler, 12.3; Jamar Johnson, 11.2).
  • Nebraska returned 73 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its assists from last season. It marked the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous year.

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE

For Nebraska, the biggest thing over the last two seasons – a stretch where the Huskers are 34-20 – has been improvements on the defensive end.

Last season, NU went from 13th to sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to second in 3-point percentage defense.  That has continued during the 2018-19 season as he enter the final month of regular-season play.

  • NU ranks in the top-25 nationally in scoring defense (62.9 ppg, 16th), field goal defense (.396, 19th) and 3-point defense (.300, 24th) as of Feb. 4. The Huskers also lead the Big Ten in steals (7.9 spg) and are seventh in blocked shots (4.2 bpg).
  • Only one opponent has shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in the last 47 games dating back to last season. In 2018-19, NU has held 21 of its 22 opponents under 50 percent shooting, as only Minnesota has shot over 50 percent.
  • NU limited 10 opponents to under 0.85 points per possession. Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana were held to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles’ seven years at NU. On the season, the Huskers are 32nd in Kenpom’s adjusted defense through Jan. 27.
  • The Huskers have held six opponents to their lowest offensive total of the season.
  • In the loss to No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 17, the Huskers held the Spartans to their second-lowest point total (70) and field goal percentage (.436) of the season at the time.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 50-5 (.909) when holding opponents under 60 points, including 16-0 the past three seasons.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 58-17 (.773) when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, including 21-3 (.875) the past three seasons.

Charting Defensive Improvement

  2016-17 Season 2017-18 Season 2018-19 Season
Category Overall (Conf. Rk.) Overall (Conf. Rk.) Overall (Conf. Rk.)
PPG Allowed 73.0 (12) 68.6 (10) 62.9 (3)
FG Pct. Def. .447 (13) .423 (6) .396 (4)
3-Pt. Pct. Def. .399 (14) .322 (2) .300 (3)

 

NEW GAME, SAME NUMBER FOR PALMER 

While senior guard James Palmer Jr. switched from No. 24 to No. 0 in the offseason, the All-American candidate continues to produce at a high level. Last month, he was named to the midseason watch list for both the Wooden and Lute Olson awards. This season, the 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 19.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game entering the matchup with Maryland.

  • He is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (second), steals (eighth), free throw percentage (.787, 11th), 3-pointers per game (2.0, 12th) and assists (14th).
  • Palmer is challenging to be the first Husker to average 20.0 ppg since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 ppg in 1997-98. Only six Husker players have ever averaged 20.0 ppg in a season.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line, as he ranks in the top-20 nationally in both free throws (129, 15th) and attempts (164, 16th), while shooting a career best 78.7 percent from the foul line. Entering this year, Palmer was a career 72 percent shooter.
  • His Husker career scoring average of 18.0 points per game is eighth among all power conference players spanning the last two seasons. The Big Ten features three of the top eight with Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ.
  • He is on pace to post one of the highest scoring averages in Nebraska history. Only two other players – Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen – have averaged 18.0 ppg as a Husker during their career.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 52 of 55 career games at Nebraska, including 19 20-point efforts and a pair of 30-point performances.
  • He had his 11th 20-point effort in Saturday’s game at Illinois, finishing with 22 points and eight rebounds.
  • Palmer had 24 points, including 11-of-11 from the foul line, and a team-high eight caroms against No. 6 Michigan State.
  • He put together one of his best all-around games at No. 25 Indiana with 11 points along with a career-high nine rebounds and season-high seven assists.
  • Palmer led NU with 26 points at Maryland while adding seven rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals.
  • Palmer shouldered the scoring load in the win over Oklahoma State with a game-high 29 points, including 14-of-15 shooting from the foul line.
  • Palmer enjoyed one of the best performances of his career with a 30-point game against Creighton. The effort included a career-high six 3-pointers.
  • He turned in a strong performance in the Huskers’ win at Clemson, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half and also snaring a career-high nine rebounds.
  • Finished with 29 points against Seton Hall, the third-highest scoring night in his career, as he scored 18 of his points in the second half.
  • Last season, Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth.  Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer’s junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer joins Purdue’s Carsen Edwards as returning first-team All-Big Ten selections by the conference coaches.
  • Palmer averaged 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play last year, which is the highest average in conference play since Aleks Maric averaged 18.9 ppg in 2006-07. It is also the most by a returning Big Ten player since Tim Frazier in 2012-13.

WATSON KEYS HUSKER ATTACK

Senior Glynn Watson Jr. is in his fourth year as Nebraska’s starting guard and is putting together his best season as a Husker. He comes into the Maryland game averaging 12.7 points per game on 43 percent shooting, including 37 percent from 3-point range. He is also averaging career bests in assists (3.4 apg) and rebounds (4.0 rpg).

  • Watson has been in double figures 16 times this season, including his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in the win over Cal State Fullerton.
  • His on-ball defense has been instrumental in Nebraska ranking among the national leaders in field goal and scoring defense.
  • He put together an 18-point performance against Ohio State, which included a season-best 7-of-7 performance from the foul line.
  • He turned in a strong effort at No. 25 Indiana, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the second half, while adding five rebounds and two steals.
  • Watson led NU to a win over Penn State with 19 points and three assists. He scored eight straight Husker points late in the second half to extend a one-point lead.
  • He guided the Husker attack in the win over Creighton with 13 points, five assists and a season-high three steals, while holding Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander to just 2-of-10 shooting.
  • Watson led NU with a season-high 20 points and a career-high nine boards against Western Illinois.
  • He showed his playmaking ability by dishing out eight assists and totaling 14 points in the win over Seton Hall.
  • His older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.
  • Watson is one of three alumni of St. Joseph to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1,136, 1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1,136, 1988-91). All three played for legendary high school coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 50th year as coach at St. Joseph and has won over 1,000 games at the school.

ROBY FILLS STAT SHEET

Isaiah Roby compliments the Husker attack with a unique skill set. The 6-foot-8 junior averages 10.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.  He leads the Huskers in blocked shots and rebounding and is the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals as of Feb. 3.

  • He is one of only seven players nationally and four in power conferences averaging 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game as of Feb. 3.
  • Roby has played some of his best basketball since conference play began in December, averaging 12.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over his last 13 contests dating back to Dec. 5.
  • Roby put together a strong effort against No. 24 Wisconsin on Jan. 29 with 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
  • He put together his best performance of the year in the Huskers’ win over Penn State, totaling 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, along with season bests in rebounds (11) and blocked shots (four).
  • He enjoyed a solid performance against Iowa, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds despite foul trouble.
  • He scored a then-career-high 20 points against Cal State Fullerton while also topping the Huskers with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • Roby put together a complete game in the win over Creighton, with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
  • His dunk against Seton Hall on Nov. 14 marked the fourth time he’s had a top-10 play on SportsCenter at NU, including highlight dunks vs. Rutgers (2018) and at Indiana (2016).
  • Roby is one of only two returning power conference players to total 50 blocks and 50 assists last season, joining Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who will miss the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. Roby is also one of four Huskers to have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King.

ALLEN ANSWERS STARTERS BELL

Sophomore Thomas Allen has emerged during his sophomore campaign, averaging 8.6 points per game on 44 percent shooting, including 36 percent from 3-point range, while chipping in 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He has been in double figures eight times after reaching double figures twice as a freshman.

  • Allen is third in the Big Ten in steals per game and leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.14-to-1).
  • He has been in double figures in seven of NU’s last 13 games after reaching double figures once in the Huskers’ first nine contests.
  • Since the injury to Isaac Copeland Jr., Allen has averaged 10.5 points per game, including his first consecutive double-figure efforts in Big Ten action.
  • Allen had a career-high 18 points, five assists and four rebounds against Creighton and had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Oklahoma State after missing most of the week with an illness.

BENCH LOOKS TO CREATE A SPARK

With the loss of Isaac Copeland Jr., the Husker bench will be counted on to make a significant impact. NU’s bench features sophomores Nana Akenten and Thorir Thorbjarnarson and freshmen Amir Harris and Brady Heiman.

  • Akenten has started twice and is averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is fifth on the team with 20 3-pointers and has a pair of double-figure efforts. He had a career-high 18 points off the bench against Mississippi Valley State, including five 3-pointers, in just 13 minutes. He also had 11 points in the win over Missouri State and nine points in a start against Cal State Fullerton.
  • Thorbjarnarson has played in 12 games, averaging 1.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He has played more in the last two games than at any point of the season. Against No. 24 Wisconsin, he had 10 rebounds and three points in 17 minutes. He added six boards and three assists in 17 minutes against Illinois on Saturday.
  • Harris has played in 15 games, averaging 1.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He missed nearly a month of action with mono and has played in NU’s last six contests. He had season bests in points (six) and rebounds (five) against Mississippi Valley State in the opener.
  • Heiman has played in 19 games, averaging 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in just under 10 minutes per contest. He had 10 points against Southeastern Louisiana and nine points at Minnesota. He grabbed 13 rebounds in NU’s opener against MVSU.

COPELAND’S STRONG SENIOR CAMPAIGN DERAILED BY INJURY

Senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr. was putting together a strong senior year before suffering a torn left ACL on Jan. 26 against Ohio State. Copeland had surgery on his knee on Friday, Feb. 1.

After earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors as a junior, Copeland raised many of his numbers in 2018-19, averaging 14.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest.

  • Including his two-plus seasons at Georgetown, Copeland finished his collegiate career with over 1,300 points, 600 rebounds and nearly 100 blocked shots.
  • Copeland reached double figures 16 times this season, including a trio of 20-point efforts (vs. Missouri State, vs. Texas Tech and at Iowa).
  • He had 11 career 20-point games (7 at Nebraska, 4 at Georgetown), including a pair of 30-point games. Copeland had 30 points against North Dakota in 2017 and a career-high 32-point night against Marquette during his sophomore year at Georgetown.
  • Copeland averaged 17.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in NU’s first three games against ranked opponents this season.
  • He led NU with a season-high 24-point effort at No. 25 Iowa while adding six rebounds and two steals.
  • He earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team, averaging 21.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 7.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per game. He was in double figures in both contests, including 23 points against Missouri State and 20 points and eight boards against Texas Tech.
  • Copeland collected his fifth career double-double in Nebraska’s win over Seton Hall with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He had one during his redshirt year at Georgetown (2016-17) and three in 2017-18.
  • Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is currently working on his Master’s Degree.
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